ESTP is one of the 16 personality types the Jung Personality Test identified. People with this personality type are frequently described as outgoing, action-oriented, and dramatic. According to psychologist David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately four to ten percent of people exhibit an ESTP personality.
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The test looks at personality preferences in four key areas: 1) Extraversion vs. Introversion, 2) Sensing vs. Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling, and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you’ve probably already ascertained, the acronym ESTP represents Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Feeling. Learn more about an ESTP’s cognitive functions.
- Extraversion (E): ESTPs are outgoing and enjoy spending time with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
- Sensing (S): ESTPs are more interested in the here and now and are more likely to focus on details than take a broader view.
- Thinking (T): ESTPs are logical. When making decisions, they place a higher value on objectivity rather than personal feelings.
- Perceiving (P): ESTPs don’t like to be pinned down by excessive planning. Instead, they want to improvise and keep their options open.
The following are just a few of the common characteristics exhibited by ESTPs:
- Good at influencing others
- Lives in the present
- Adaptable and resourceful
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Observant with a strong memory for details
- It can be dramatic at times
As extroverts, ESTPs gain energy from being around other people. People with this personality type are seen as fun, friendly, and charming in social settings. According to Keirsey, people with this personality type are exceptionally skilled at influencing people. ESTPs are great at interacting with other people and have a natural ability to perceive and interpret nonverbal communication. Thanks to these abilities, ESTPs tend to do very well in sales and marketing careers.
Because they are so focused on the present world, ESTPs tend to be realists. They are interested in the sights, sounds, and experiences immediately around them and have little use for daydreams or flights of fancy. As sensors, people with this personality type want to touch, feel, hear, taste, and see anything that might interest them. When learning about something new, it’s not just enough to read about it in a textbook or listen to a lecture – they want to experience it for themselves.
ESTPs also have lots of energy, so they can become bored in tedious or learning situations that involve a great deal of theoretical information. ESTPs are the quintessential “doers” – they get straight to work and are willing to take risks to get the job done. When confronted with problems, people with this personality type quickly look at the facts and devise an immediate solution. They tend to improvise rather than spend a great deal of time planning.
ESTPs are most compatible with Sensing-Judging personality types, especially introverted ones such as ISFJ and ISTJ, which tend to complement and balance their tendencies. Ideally, an ESTP will have a sympathetic Judging type to keep them grounded and persuade them to duly consider the future while still going along with some of the ESTP’s adventures.
They are least compatible with INTJs, as this pair is too directly opposite to have a decent chance of balancing each other. Though any relationship can work, this one is scarce.
In relationships, ESTPs look for spontaneity and excitement. They are constantly charming their partner and expressing their feelings through gestures, though they may not speak them outright. In most cases, ESTPs prefer actions to words and ideas.
Famous People With ESTP Personalities
Through looking at their lives and work, researchers have suggested that the following famous individuals exhibit ESTP characteristics:
- Ernest Hemingway, author
- James Buchanan, U.S. President
- Madonna, singer
- Chuck Yeager, U.S. Air Force General, and pilot
- Donald Trump, businessman
- Lucille Ball, actress
Famous fictional ESTPs include:
- Elle Driver, Kill Bill
- Bart Simpson, The Simpsons
- James Bond
- Fred and George Weasley, Harry Potter
Women are about half as likely as men to be ESTPs. They share many of the same characteristics, but they can appear differently. ESTP women tend to be persuasive, friendly, and rational, and while they don’t typically let their emotions control them, they can be very compassionate with loved ones.
Best Career Choices for ESTPs
People with an ESTP personality type feel energized when interacting with a wide variety of people, so they do best in jobs that involve working with others. They strongly dislike routine and monotony, so fast-paced jobs are ideal. ESTPs have several different personality characteristics that make them well-suited for specific careers. As mentioned previously, because they are so observant and have such strong people skills, ESTPs make great salespeople. Because they are action-oriented and resourceful, they are excellent in first-responder positions that require fast-thinking and quick responses, such as emergency medical personnel and police officers.
- Sales Agent
- Police officers
- Computer support technician